Wylde Wings

Take flight with Wylde Wings!

Every night, Gwyn’s mom pulled him in close and whispered her words.

“There once was town on the other side of the mountain,” she began. “The people there were happy, and life was easy. And for as long as they could remember, they flew.

“Every child, on the day they turned twelve, was so filled with magic that their wings would pop out, bursting through their fragile skin and into the morning light.”

Wylde Wings Pencil sketch by Brian W. Parker of people with wings flying into the sky toward the sun

Gwyn loved that story – it filled him with hope and possibility.  

But life isn’t made of golden wings. 

He grew up, his mom died, and the light disappeared. He never lived on the other side of the mountain, and when he turned twelve, he didn’t get his wings. With each passing year, his depression pulls him in deeper, and the grief grows stronger. His therapist tells him to write down his thoughts in a journal. She tells him the stories his mom told him are beautiful, but they’re not real. She tells him he won’t get his wings.

Until, one day, he does. 

Wylde Wings Pencil sketch by Brian W. Parker of african-american kid with glasses and wings holding a spark

Kate Ristau and Brian W. Parker invite you to join in his grand adventure in Wylde Wings, a middle grade novel full of magic and wonder with unexpected twists and turns along the way. The story shifts back and forth between Gwyn’s journal, full of stories and myths, and his real-life adventure. Brian W. Parker — an African-American illustrator who believes in empowering young people of color — has illustrated these journal pages. They capture Gwyn’s inner life as we follow along on his epic adventure, which is based in Welsh mythology. Wylde Wings is published by Hope Well Books, a Pacific Northwest Small Press.

Wylde Wings book cover with accompanying text, Take flight this fall

About Kate Ristau, author of Wylde Wings

Kate Ristau, a white female with blue hair and a yellow scarf, smiling with a wooden background

Kate Ristau is the author of the middle grade series, Clockbreakers, and the young adult series, Shadow Girl. You can read her essays in The New York Times and The Washington Post. In her ideal world, magic and myth combine to create memorable stories with unforgettable characters. Until she finds that world, she’ll live in a house in Oregon, where they found a sword behind the water heater and fairies in the backyard.

About Brian W. Parker, illustrator of Wylde Wings

Brian W. Parker, illustrator of Wylde Wings, an african-american man with a red shirt, top hat, and steampunk goggles

Brian W. Parker grew up in Alaska, then Mississippi, and has always been in love with storytelling in every medium. He earned a BFA in graphic design & illustration and an MA in writing & publishing, and now spends his days working in youth publishing through his company, Believe In Wonder, which he co-owns with his wife. He is the author of Crow in the Hollow, You Can Rely on Platypi, and The Wondrous Science.

You won’t want to miss this magical story. Join the journey now, and take flight with us this fall!

Listen in for the first few pages of Wylde Wings!